pic of five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)

There’s A Skink in My Sink!

The other day I went to fill up the dishwasher because the kitchen sink was filled with dirty dishes.

But when I went to grab a dirty dish, I got a startling surprise. . . there was a skink in my sink!

pic of five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)

As you might imagine, I wasn’t expecting to see a 5-lined skink in my sink. Not that this is the first time we’ve had one of these little blue-tailed skinks in the house.

For instance, there was the memorable time we saw one in the living room, and both The Farmer and I were running around with plastic bowls, trying to capture the skink by plunking a bowl down on top of it, then sliding a thin plastic cutting board under the bowl. Believe it or not, we finally did accomplish the capture and let the skink loose outside.

I used a variation of that technique to capture this little five-lined skink.  My trap of choice this time was a little plastic tub that used to hold sliced turkey.  Once I got him (her?) inside, the skink went OUT side!

image of 5 lined skink and Blue Angel HostaIn this capture & release program, the skink ended up in a pot with a start of chocolate mint (mmmm, chocolate, what a lucky skink!), beside a huge Blue Angel Hosta.  (And I do mean HUGE!  Everyone who comes to the house wants to know what kind of hosta that is!)

The little lizard was tentative at first, and not sure about the new surroundings.

pic of blue tailed skinkHowever, once it finally decided to go, it really MOVED, and was gone so quickly I didn’t get a picture of it.

Since then I’ve seen a skink scampering around on the leaves of that big hosta once in a while.  I don’t know if it’s the one that surprised in me in the sink, or another one.   We see them now and then around the farm, and I’ve even written about one that was on the back porch, in the “I See a Skink” post back in 2009.

They’re actually kind of cute… but still don’t belong in the kitchen sink!

I can’t believe I saw a skink
Dancing around in the kitchen sink.

It does not belong there I think.

Out of the sink and into a tub,
The sink is not a lizard pub.

No skinks allowed Bub!

The skink must go where it is sent,
Go out and taste the chocolate mint!

If you stay in the sink I’ll charge you rent.

Bye, Bye Skink!

My Best Helper

When The Canadian Contingent visits I get a great helper.  Ellie is ready to help Southern Grandma do just about anything!  In fact, when they come in the door, the first thing she usually says is to ask me, “What are you going to do with me today?”

We have a great time puttering around in the kitchen, doing crafts of one kind or another, and Ellie also helps do the outside animal chores.

One day while they were here, The Farmer stopped at an outlet for Amish produce near his office and picked up some blueberrries. I like using them in muffins and smoothies, so wanted to freeze a bunch. They were a lot more expensive than I expected, so I didn’t freeze as many as I’d hoped to do, but still, we got about 6 pints done.

Ellie helped me put them on cookie sheets to pop them in the freezer. I like to let them freeze in a single layer, so they will don’t end up in one big lump in the bags.

pic of girl and blueberries

After the berries froze into hard little marbles, then we put them in bags to store in the freezer.  Ellie did a great job holding the bags open while I poured in the frozen berries.

pic of Ellie and blueberries

In fact, she and her new buddy, Olaf, helped me do lots of things while they were here! The only thing was Olaf sang the same song over and over and over, and I got the words stuck in my head… IN SUMMER!!!!!!!!

Bees-a-buzz, kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz
And I’ll be doing whatever snow does in summer.
A drink in my hand, my snow up against the burning sand
Prob’ly getting gorgeously tanned in summer.

I’ll finally see a summer breeze, blow away a winter storm.
And find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm!
And I can’t wait to see, what my buddies all think of me.
Just imagine how much cooler I’ll be in summer.

Dah dah, da doo, uh bah bah bah bah bah boo

The hot and the cold are both so intense,
Put ‘em together it just makes sense!

Rrr Rat da dat dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah doo

Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle,
But put me in summer and I’ll be a — happy snowman!

When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream,
Of relaxing in the summer sun, just lettin’ off steam.

Oh the sky will be blue, and you guys will be there too
When I finally do what frozen things do in summer!!!

Kristoff: I’m gonna tell him.

Anna: Don’t you dare!

Olaf (passionately): IN SUMMER!!!!!!!!

pic of Ellie and Olaf toy

Is that not cuteness personified?

Dyeing Queen Anne’s Lace

If you’re not familiar with Queen Anne’s Lace, it’s a wildflower that grows in fields and along side roads.  It’s white, so that makes it a prime candidate for dyeing it different colors.

When I was a kid, we used liquid food dye to do the job.  I don’t know if those dyes are off the market now, or just not in local stores, but I couldn’t find them anywhere.  And I wanted to dye some flowers as a crafty project to do with granddaughter Ellie when they were visiting here earlier this month.

I tried some tubes of “write-on” icing I had to color the water, but that was a bust.  The flowers didn’t take up any of the color, but instead just drooped and died.

I’d about given up on the idea until Ellie and I painted some pictures.

grranddaughter painting

These are really neat, because there is an outline on the paper, and the watercolor paint is only absorbed inside the boundaries.

We had a lot of fun doing those pictures.  I highly recommend them… there are not only fairy ones, but the magic canvas painting sets also come with Dragon Pictures , Mermaids, and one called Coral Reef that has pictures of fish.

There are also Birds of Paradise” pictures, balloons, butterflies, and oh yes! Can’t forget the lovely set of PRINCESSES which I almost bought, then opted for fairies instead. Maybe another time we’ll do the princess pictures!

That evening I got to thinking about our crafts, and figured I could use the watercolors to dye the Queen Anne’s Lace.  They were in little bottles, a liquid like the food dyes I was looking for and couldn’t find.  So I gave it a shot to see if it would work, and this is what we ended up with:

queen-annes-laceWe ended up with yellow, blue, red, green and purple flowers!  That’s plain white in the back of the bouquet.

Pretty nifty, huh?

Happy Birthday Farmer!

Today is The Farmer’s birthday, so to celebrate the fact, here are some pictures from the past year.  I put them in chronological order, so let’s start with one from January 2013.  It’s kind of bittersweet, because it shows our now deceased pet parrot keeping The Farmer company while he writes checks.  (Maybe she was lending him moral support, ha!)

Farmer & Parrot

Outside, we have The Farmer feeding Doritos to the menagerie.  The llama especially loves chips!  What can I say, our critters are junk food junkies.Llama Loves Doritos

It’s been a hard year for pets, and here’s yet another bittersweet picture, this time of our cat, Spot.

Farmer petting cat

Spot was one really cool cat.  He was a good mouser, he loved his people, and he used to follow us around like a dog.  In fact, we used to call him “our other dog.”  Maybe it’s because The Farmer named him “Spot” in the first place.

Of course, The Farmer’s closest bud and constant companion is our farm collie, Toby.

Farmer & Farm Collie

Toby loves to play in the water, and goes nuts everytime someone picks up a water hose!

 Out with the Old, In with the New

In early August The Farmer had a fender bender.  Fortunately, neither he or anyone else was hurt.  Couldn’t say the same for the car, however.

wrecked car

It was declared a total loss, so that meant we needed to get a new-to-us vehicle.  The Farmer decided to just go all out and get a new vehicle, period!

pic of Hyundai Sonata

He loves this car!  And he discovered he loved the bluegrass channel on the Sirius Radio!  So since his 3-month trial period just ran out, I got him another year’s subscription for his birthday.

Getting Ready for a New Dog

Later in August, The Farmer helped me get ready for the new dog.  Young Son and I did most of the work getting the kennel ready, but The Farmer installed the 5-foot tall gate.

Farmer Working on Gate

Then he helped introduce the new pup to his bud, Toby.

Farmer and dogs

And while we’re on the subject, the above picture was taken September 2nd.  Here’s a couple of her taken recently, about 2 1/2 months later. . .

pic of Maremma sheepdog pup
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pic of white dog and black dog

As you can see, she’s grown a lot in since she got here!  At her 4-month vet check, she weighed 40-pounds.  I’m sure she weighs more than that already.

The Farmer’s Pet Project

And lastly, we have the turkey, uh, excuse me, THE FARMER, with his pet turkeys! smile13

picture of man with 2 tom turkeys

As you can see, The Farmer has had a busy, eventful year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FARMER!!

what does the farmer say

What Does The Farmer Say?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I could sure use a smile… and I believe I’ve found one.

To tell the truth, I’d never come across the YouTube sensation, that annoying song called, “What Does the Fox Say?”  First time I heard it was when they used it on the Dancing With The Stars show.  They did a pretty good group dance with that as the music.

Myself, I think it’s a pretty stupid song, and the person who wrote it obviously doesn’t know didddly squat about foxes.  But then, foxes aren’t high on my favorites list right now, considering how they decimated our chicken, guinea and peafowl populations!  But I’ll admit, the song does get in your head, and doesn’t want to come out.

So to replace it… try this… MUCH better!
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What Does The Farmer Say?


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Yep, way better!